[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Thursday, March 19, 2009

[When silence means so much more sometimes]
I have been doing a lot of research lately on various topics ranging from ASEAN and human rights, Internet censorship, democracy in Singapore and research on the Penal Code.

During the course of going through readings (academic journals), I realised that the problem of engagement with citizens on the Internet has been there since 1995 already in a paper on Internet control in Singapore.

Then Minister for Information and the Arts, George Yeo had said of the entry of PAP into cyberspace: "We must have our battalions there all ready to engage in that debate."

The paper further emphasised that few individuals have been spreading falsehoods about Singapore and the PAP and that a response is warranted in order to make a stand for the PAP. It had been understood that a lack of response could be undermined by opposition parties.

Yesterday in my Digital Media class, we discussed the issues of managing external relations of two agencies.

One had failed to learn from building relationships with bloggers and tried to pay bloggers to write good things about their client. Next was a marketing event that had gone wrong because of conflicts of interest, disclosure and lack of transparency. And the way the agency responded was to keep silent.

Two recent cases in Singapore seem to be walking down this track: the NTU stabbing incident and the eight-month bonus of a certain NorthWest CDC staff. I am wondering if frank and online engagement is too difficult sometimes.

Rumours have been spreading like wildfire on the Internet. If we do not address the rumours and put an end to it, others will make use of such rumours to undermine our credibility. An NTU student had told me that the Professor who was stabbed wasn't that angelic either and that Professors had often used students' work to build upon their own research. Other sites had cast doubt on the reportage of mainstream media.

It is not that I am doubting the role of the press nor the organisation but what makes me think is not what that was said but what was left unsaid. For me, I would appreciate a sincere and open response towards such issues. Maybe it could be the way the incident was handled. Maybe it could be handled better. Or maybe that was the best they could have done.

The point is this: Sometimes it is not good to be silent because silence can mean something more.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not all online stuffs are rumors.
A lot of them are just opinions.
A lot of these opinions arises because of the belief(or fact) that MSM here are controlled.
Think about it.

Friday, March 20, 2009 1:15:00 am

Blogger Ephraim Loy 黎传志 said...

Sounds plausible.

Rumours need to be corrected. If only there was a way to do so.

Saturday, March 21, 2009 1:20:00 am


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